November 16, 2008

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Paradise Sucks

Written by James Kochalka
Illustrated by James Kochalka
Black Eye Books

Man, James Kochalka is the King of Cute. This is a man that could probably make Dick Chaney look cuddly if he had a mind to do so (unlikely, but I'm just throwing it out there). This time around, he mixes an old painter in a dystopian, ultra-reductionist future with the story of creation as written in the Book of Genesis.

Now I'm not real big on the whole religion thing, as most of you know, but seeing God with a magic wand tapping things into being with the sound effects of "shzing!" "ping!" and "phooo" is just brain-meltingly cute.

Soon Adam is naming things and Kochalka, like Twain before him, has a lot of fun with this concept. My favorite is probably "fluffy bundle" for rabbit. Eve comes along but so does Satan (a bug in Kochalka's telling) and soon paradise will be lost.

But what about our artist friend? He's been sold out, so to speak, and feels like there's nothing left. A man of order, he draws chaos--and it's...paradise?

When the two meet, one looking to the future and one looking to the past, the result could have been long pages of discussion. But Kochalka puts an amazing twist at the end that's just, well, silly.

And hey, when you're the King of Cute, isn't that the best way to go, anyway? A fun romp that's definitely worth checking out.